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In Rememberance: World Trade Center (WTC)

Estimating Discriminatory Power and PD Curves when the Number of Defaults is Small

by Dirk Tasche of Lloyds Banking Group

March 5, 2010

Abstract: The intention with this paper is to provide all the estimation concepts and techniques that are needed to implement a two-phases approach to the parametric estimation of probability of default (PD) curves. In the first phase of this approach, a raw PD curve is estimated based on parameters that reflect discriminatory power. In the second phase of the approach, the raw PD curve is calibrated to fit a target unconditional PD. The concepts and techniques presented include a discussion of different definitions of area under the curve (AUC) and accuracy ratio (AR), a simulation study on the performance of confidence interval estimators for AUC, a discussion of the one-parametric approach to the estimation of PD curves by van der Burgt (2008) and alternative approaches, as well as a simulation study on the performance of the presented PD curve estimators. The topics are treated in depth in order to provide the full rationale behind them and to produce results that can be implemented immediately.

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